Sinn Féin TDs Darren O’Rourke and Johnny Guirke, have called on the government to intervene to ensure plans to remove Community Welfare Officers from Kells and Trim and to centralise them to Navan, are abandoned. Deputy O’Rourke told Meath Live, “This is an absolutely shameful decision to move much-needed and much-valued Community Welfare Officers from Kells and Trim to Navan. It must not proceed.“People need to be able to speak to a local Community Welfare Officer when they are facing financial hardship, so moving them will make it more difficult for people to access help when they need it most.“This is particularly the case now, as more people than ever will need additional help due to the cost-of-living crisis.“The walk-in service provided in local towns is important, as vulnerable people may not have the money or ability to travel to Navan.

“The government need to reverse this decision and ensure Community Welfare Officers remain available and on the ground in local towns. They provide an absolutely vital service.“Sinn Féin will continue to fight for this. Deputy Johnny Guirke and I raised this in the Dáil this week and Cllr. Michael Gallagher will bring a motion before Meath Co. Co. this week.Johnny Guirke said “The Community Welfare Officer is an emergency financial lifeline for many people.“They provide assistance when people are awaiting other social welfare payments to be approved, or when people face sudden and unexpected costs that they simply cannot afford.“It is essential Community Welfare Officers are available and accessible in local communities, so removing them from local towns like Trim and Kells and also from outreach centres in Athboy and Oldcastle is the wrong decision. It is shameful.“I raised this with the Taoiseach this week in the Dáil and we are calling on the government to reverse this appalling decision.“We need to be putting more help in place for people, not making it more difficult for people to get help when they need it.”